Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India and seasoned diplomat Sohail Mahmood will be the country’s new foreign secretary, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced Sunday. The decision to appoint Mahmood as foreign secretary had been made following discussions with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Qureshi, while talking to reporters in Multan. “Sohail Mahmood is being appointed as new foreign secretary,” he said. The decision was taken after the incumbent Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is all set to retire on April 16.
However, there is no clearification on who will replace Mahmood in India.
Qureshi said that he talked with Mahmood on the telephone on Saturday and congratulated him over his new appointment.
“He is a seasoned diplomat. Even now, after the Pulwama incident took place, he came to the headquarters for consultations and I benefited from his experience,” Qureshi said, describing the deadly terror attack on CRPF soldiers as “incident”.
Qureshi expressed confidence that Mahmood would fulfil his responsibilities as foreign secretary.
Mahmood was appointed as high commissioner to India in August 2017. He was serving as ambassador to Turkey when sent to India.
He previously also served at Washington and New York in addition to other posting in his long career.
Qureshi also thanked Janjua for her services. “She always handled things with courage, bravery, clarity, and with a smile,” he said.
Who is Sohail Mahmood?
Mahmood has received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Government College in Rawalpindi, a Master of Arts in History from Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York, according to the Dawn report.
He joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in October 1985. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mofa), Mahmood served ─ among other positions ─ as Additional Secretary for Afghanistan/West Asia as well as Director General for the Americas and the Foreign Secretary’s Office.